have a chip on one's shoulder

Definition of have a chip on one's shoulder

informal

  1. :  to have an angry or unpleasant attitude or way of behaving caused by a belief that one has been treated unfairly in the past He has had a chip on his shoulder ever since he didn't get the promotion he was expecting.

Word by Word Definitions

chipplay
  1. :  a small usually thin and flat piece (as of wood or stone) cut, struck, or flaked off

    :  a small piece of food: such as

    :  a small thin slice of food

  1. :  to cut or hew with an edged tool

    :  to cut or break (a small piece) from something

    :  to cut or break a fragment from

shoulderplay
  1. :  the laterally projecting part of the human body formed of the bones and joints with their covering tissue by which the arm is connected with the trunk

    :  the region of the body of nonhuman vertebrates that corresponds to the shoulder but is less projecting

    :  the two shoulders and the upper part of the back

  1. :  to push or thrust with or as if with the shoulder :  jostle

    :  to place or bear on the shoulder

    :  to assume the burden or responsibility of


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a dividing ridge between drainage areas

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